Dept speeds up work to widen port road

The Highways Department has accelerated its work to expand the road to Laem Chabang deep-sea port from the motorway to solve chronic traffic problems at the port.

Deputy Transport Minister Prasert Chanruangthong said the traffic congestion around Laem Chabang needs urgent attention.

The Highways Department is speeding up its work to solve traffic problems at the port, including a 2.5-billion-baht project to expand the road to 14 lanes, said the deputy minister.

The department is also expediting construction of a road to link motorway No.7 to Rayong, and other road projects.

Other projects given priority are the Pattaya-Map Ta Phut motorway project and construction of the ramps at Bang Phra and Nong Kham in Chon Buri. The work is now 40% complete, he said.

In addition to the planned expansion of the road lanes, some new roads will also be built serving Laem Chabang port.

The Rural Roads Department would build new roads to link with major roads leading to the port now being built by the Highways Department.

Traffic at the entrance to Laem Chabang is very heavy, with about 60,000 vehicles entering the port a day.

Currently, Laem Chabang handles about 6 million TEU (20-foot equivalent unit) containers per year.

Mr Prasert said no resolution was reached over the third-phase expansion of Laem Chabang during the meeting of relevant agencies yesterday.

Though the Dawei deep-sea port was being developed in Myanmar, in cooperation with and linked to Thailand, Laem Chabang remained important for container shipments, he said.

Sutthinan Hathawong, managing director of Laem Chabang port, said traffic problems at the port began about four years ago and traffic is especially heavy on Wednesdays and Saturdays when many container lorries enter the port.

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Writer: Amornrat Mahitthirook
Position: Reporter